Select Board seeks advice on sign

DUBLIN — The Select Board is considering amending a sign that prohibits swimming at the boat launch on Dublin Lake. But before taking any action, the board will first seek the advice of town counsel.

The board was scheduled to host a site walk at the town-owned boat launch off Lake Road Monday evening, but due to the weather postponed its visit until June 24 at 5:30 p.m.

Select Board Chair Charlie Champagne suggested that the board forward to the town’s lawyer, a picture of the sign posted at the boat launch, which reads “no swimming in launch area ,” and a copy of a 1961 deed whereby Fanny Dwight Clark and her husband, Grenville Clark, grant public access to Dublin Lake on their shores as a gift to the town. The goal, Champagne said, is making sure the town adheres to the spirit of the deed.

According to the deed, the Clarks’ intention was to provide “a publicly owned place of access to the waters of Dublin Lake, available for use by all members of the pubic, whether or not residents of New Hampshire or of Dublin...”

After a conversation with Town Administrator Sherry Miller last week, Selectman Sterling Abram recommended at Monday’s meeting that the top portion of the sign, which reads “boat launch,” be changed to “public access.” Then, instead of “no swimming in launch area,” Abram said the sign could read, “swim at your own risk.”

Champagne and Selectman Sturdy Thomas agreed with Abram that the new language could address concerns resident Steve Baldwin raised at a Select Board meeting on June 10, and would be a reasonable alternative to removing the sign.

Baldwin maintains that the sign prohibiting swimming is misleading and in violation of the Clarks’ deed because it restricts public access.

According to town records, a sign that read, “no swimming,” was added to the boat launch in 1998, but it is unclear why. After issues were raised about vandalism to the sign in 2000, selectmen changed the language to “no swimming in launch area.”

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